Last Updated on August 9, 2023

As temperatures rise, it’s crucial to prioritize your body’s cooling and hydration.

While scientific validation for the concept of “cooling” foods remains limited, traditional practices and anecdotal wisdom suggest that specific food items can help alleviate heat discomfort and provide a refreshing reprieve.

Integrating these foods into your diet can offer a welcomed oasis during scorching days.

Foods you can eat to reduce body heat
Cooling and Refreshing Foods for Extreme Heat

Here are 15 foods that are widely regarded for their cooling potential:

1. Cucumber: The Ultimate Hydrator

Cucumbers have long been celebrated for their impressive water content, making them an indispensable component of summery salads and snacks.

With their crisp texture and subtly mild flavor, cucumbers provide an instant cooling sensation, offering a delightful respite from the heat.

For a creative twist, consider marinating cucumber slices in a blend of mint and lemon for an enhanced cooling effect.

2. Watermelon: Juicy and Revitalizing

When temperatures soar, nothing quite compares to the juicy, vibrant allure of watermelon.

This quintessential summer fruit not only satiates your thirst but also infuses your body with a revitalizing burst of natural sweetness.

Its vivid red flesh serves as a tantalizing reminder of the joys of summertime indulgence.

To elevate your watermelon experience, try crafting frozen watermelon popsicles infused with a hint of lime zest.

3. Mint: A Fresh Twist

The invigorating essence of mint leaves or mint-infused beverages is a time-honored method to beat the heat.

Mint’s natural menthol compounds engender a cooling effect that can offer solace from sweltering conditions.

Try adding mint to your water or blending it into smoothies for an invigorating touch. Mint also pairs well with chocolate desserts… and Mojitos, of course.

4. Coconut: Nature’s Electrolyte Boost

Embraced as a natural elixir, coconut water has gained acclaim as a hydrating powerhouse due to its rich electrolyte composition. Beyond its innate ability to replenish fluids, coconut water is believed to confer a soothing cooling effect, rendering it a favored choice for maintaining refreshment amidst soaring temperatures.

Delight your senses by crafting coconut water-based popsicles adorned with slivers of tropical fruit.

5. Cilantro (Coriander): Flavorful and Soothing

The culinary landscape welcomes cilantro, an herb celebrated for its vibrant flavor profile, especially in summer fare.

Beyond its gustatory appeal, cilantro is thought to possess cooling attributes, making it a prized inclusion in salads and culinary creations.

As a culinary experiment, infuse cilantro leaves into a zesty vinaigrette to drizzle over your favorite greens for a satisfyingly cool meal.

6. Yogurt: Creamy Comfort

Yogurt emerges as a creamy comfort champion, particularly when opting for plain and unsweetened varieties.

Laden with probiotics that bolster gut health, yogurt offers a contrasting coolness, complementing the body’s equilibrium in the face of rising temperatures.

Elevate your yogurt experience by layering it with a medley of freshly sliced fruits and a sprinkle of cooling chia seeds.

7. Curd (Indian Yogurt): Traditional Cooling Delight

Deep-rooted in Indian culinary heritage, curd emerges as a cherished antidote to stifling heat. A staple of dishes like raita, curd boasts innate cooling properties that harmonize with fiery spices, creating a harmonious balance.

Expand your culinary horizons by experimenting with curd-based smoothies, blending together tropical fruits and a hint of honey for an enchanting blend of flavors.

refreshing watermelon juice
Watermelon and iced watermelon juice. Photo by Denys Gromov on

8. Melons: Varied and Juicy

While watermelon occupies a place of honor, the realm of cooling melons extends to embrace the succulent charm of cantaloupe and honeydew.

These juicy marvels are equally equipped to combat dehydration, providing a multisensory coolness that refreshes your palate.

Consider crafting a melon-centric fruit salad enhanced with a drizzle of zesty citrus dressing.

9. Lettuce: Crisp and Hydrating Greens

Leafy greens, particularly lettuce, emerge as an enticing oasis amidst the summer heat. Their satisfying crunch and generous water content make them a dual-purpose addition to your diet.

Beyond their hydrating attributes, the mild flavor profile of lettuce offers a versatile canvas for crafting nutritious wraps embellished with cooling ingredients, all encapsulated in a tender green embrace.

All types of lettuce are high in water and a refreshing treat, although dark green leafy lettuces such as romaine, arugula and butterhead are more nutritient-rich than those with lighter colours.

10. Citrus Fruits: Zesty and Invigorating

Citrus fruits, ranging from the tangy allure of oranges to the zesty embrace of lemons and limes, hold an esteemed status as invigorating agents of refreshment.

Brimming with immune-boosting vitamin C, these fruits lend a zingy burst of energy while imparting a revivifying coolness.

As a culinary endeavor, endeavor to concoct a symphony of citrus-infused sorbets to elevate your dessert repertoire.

11. Celery: Crunchy and Cooling

Crunch into the crisp world of celery, a humble yet extraordinary vegetable celebrated for its high water content and satisfying crunch.

Delightfully low in calories, celery boasts an innate ability to satiate your thirst while offering a welcome respite from the heat.

Channel your creative spirit by crafting a cooling celery-based gazpacho, artfully embellished with diced cucumbers and a drizzle of olive oil.

12. Cucumber and Mint-Infused Water: DIY Skin Cooler, from the Inside-Out

For an artisanal approach to refreshment, consider the harmonious fusion of cucumber and mint in infused water.

This do-it-yourself elixir blends the subtle coolness of cucumber with the invigorating essence of mint, producing a bespoke concoction that transforms hydration into a sensorial experience.

Elevate this endeavor by introducing slices of tangy lemon and sprigs of fragrant lavender for an even more enchanting libation.

13. Ayurvedic Cooling Spices: Fennel, Coriander, and Cardamom

Drawing upon the venerable wisdom of Ayurveda, fennel, coriander, and cardamom emerge as potent cooling spices.

These aromatic wonders are believed to offer a respite from scorching temperatures while infusing dishes with distinctive flavors.

As an exploratory voyage, endeavor to prepare a fragrant cup of fennel and cardamom tea, allowing the aromatic steam to envelop your senses in tranquil coolness.

Cardamom is also sometimes brewed together with coffee to enhance its flavours in some part of the world, so if you are not a fan of tea, you can still enjoy this spice.

14. Green Tea: Sip Your Way to Coolness

Celebrated for its rich antioxidant composition and potential health advantages, green tea unfurls as a consummate cooling beverage choice.

Its subtle caffeine content harmonizes with its refreshing undertones, resulting in a libation that both invigorates and soothes.

Consider concocting a green tea-based mocktail, harmoniously blended with cooling cucumber and a hint of tangy citrus.

15. Aloe Vera: Natural Elixir of Cool

While the scientific community continues its exploration of aloe vera’s potential cooling effects, its historical reputation as a natural elixir for alleviating heat discomfort remains intact.

While further research is needed to substantiate its claims, aloe vera’s inner gel offers a soothing touch that has long been embraced as a calming antidote.

Invite a tropical twist to your cool-down ritual by crafting aloe vera-infused mocktails, gracefully layered with succulent fruits and a sprig of fragrant mint.

Read also: How to Stay Safe During a Heatwave

iced sliced lemon on clear drinking glass
Ice, mint, limes and lemons. Photo by Antoni Shkraba on

While the scientific consensus on the cooling properties of these foods may vary, there’s no denying the palpable sense of relief and comfort that these foods bring, making them invaluable allies in your quest to stay cool and hydrated.

Incorporating cooling foods into your daily routine can be a delicious and creative endeavor. Consider experimenting with combinations, such as a refreshing watermelon and mint salad drizzled with a zesty lime dressing.

Alternatively, indulge in a tropical yogurt parfait layered with juicy pineapple and topped with toasted coconut flakes for a taste of paradise.

Moreover, these foods can seamlessly integrate into your hydration strategy.

Sip on coconut water as a post-workout refresher, replenishing both fluids and electrolytes lost through perspiration.

As the sun blazes overhead, treat yourself to a citrus-infused green tea cooler, a harmonious blend of antioxidants and invigorating flavors.

Harness the wisdom of Ayurveda by incorporating cooling spices into your culinary creations.

Infuse your curries with the delicate aroma of fennel, allowing its soothing essence to temper the heat of summer days.

Create a medley of cooling sensations with a cucumber and mint-infused water infused with the gentle warmth of cardamom.

In your pursuit of a refreshing oasis, delve into the world of chilled desserts that embody the essence of coolness.

Craft aloe vera-infused sorbets, marrying the soothing properties of this plant with the vibrant sweetness of ripe berries.

Alternatively, venture into the realm of frozen yogurt popsicles speckled with cilantro leaves, a fusion of flavors that dances on the palate.

As you embrace these cooling foods, remember that hydration is essential. Stay attentive to your body’s signals and sip water-rich concoctions like cucumber and mint-infused water throughout the day. logo icon

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